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964 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     956 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities


The opinions expressed by the authors of the articles in this section are for discussion purposes only and may not coincide with the position of the Russian Government and the Embassy


It’s not just about gas: why China needs Russia (by Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor in chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs, Chairman of Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy)

In a pre-election article published a little over two years ago, Vladimir Putin wrote that Russia wanted to harness the Chinese wind for its sails of development. Every sailor knows that in stormy weather, and the world is a stormy place today, controlling a sailing ship is incredibly difficult. But by working skilfully there is a chance of inching one's goal much faster.

Vladimir Putin’s visit to China did not disappoint. With the background of a crisis in relations between Russia and the US, the trip has been interpreted as a search by Moscow for new strong partners. Russia long ago started talking about turning to Asia and the conflict over Ukraine has served as a catalyst. But the view that Moscow really needs this rapprochement and Beijing is only allowing Russia to come closer to use that country's resources, is a simplification at best. China, no less than Russia, is interested in strengthening the foundation of its policy.

China is concerned about world events; the Arab Spring was a wake-up call. In Beijing, this was seen as a dangerous example of how powerful external fortes take advantage of the inability of states to ensure sustainable internal development: especially coming as Washington announced its new policy in Asia. Despite overturn to China, it was obvious that this policy was intended to restrain Beijing.

Territorial disputes between China and its neighbours had been in a relatively dormant state but suddenly came alive, not only at a local level. During Putin’s visit to Shanghai, China's relations with Vietnam worsened - leading to the evacuation of Chinese citizens. Relations with Japan and the Philippines also became strained. On a recent trip to the Pacific, Barack Obama let it be known that in these territorial disputes the US was prepared to support its allies with all its resources.

To this should be added the heated debate about the development model being pursued by China. The economy is slowing while continuous fast growth is considered the key to the stability of the political system and the power of the Communist Party. The third plenary session of the central committee of the CPC, held at the end of last year, acknowledged many internal problems. These were partly due to the overheating of the economy after more than three decades of constant growth and partly because a large part of society is lagging behind.

As soon as President XI Jinping came to power in 2012, he emphasized his desire to bring relation with Russia to a new level. Beijing is, of course, approaching the Ukraine crisis with caution. China, which has its own crisis with internal separatism, is very nervous when it comes to any changes of borders. So Moscow should not count on direct support from Beijing. At the same time, China stressed that it understood the causes of the current situation and the fact that Russia’s actions were a response to long-standing US policy in post-Soviet space. The Chinese do not want a confrontation with Washington to weaken Russia, as this would strengthen America. The US is perceived in Beijing as an inevitable strategic competitor in the near future.

So, what are the specific motives for China's rapprochement with Russia? First, it is a question of a global strategic balance. China sees its place in the world and the Capabilities of other partners through the superpowers triangle: China, the US and Russia. The significance of each depends on its relationship with the others. And China believes one that loses touch with one of the other two is weaker and more dependent on the third.

Second, there is the regional security. Pressure on Beijing from the US will continue to grow, as China's neighbours feel increasingly insecure against the rising power of the Celestial Empire. Russia is the only country that borders China (along with the countries of Central Asia), with which China has no territorial disputes. The most important thing for China is to gain Russia's support in these conflicts. This is unlikely - as Moscow will try to keep neutral on these issues, but Russia will not support the opposing sides.

Third, we have the reliable power supply. China has traditionally relied on global markets but, given the overall growth of tensions in world and the region. Beijing is forced to think about the military-political component. Russia is the only source of raw materials, the supply of which, in case of serious deterioration of relations, cannot be blocked by the US Navy. Today, such a scenario seems unlikely but contemporary history has repeatedly demonstrated that anything is possible.

Fourth, is the problem of global governance. The Ukrainian crisis has had an unexpected consequence. To put pressure on Russia, the US used its political leverage to intervene in the global markets. Russian banks were ex-eluded from the international payment systems, rating agencies were manipulated, and pressure was put on international financial institutions. China has paid close attention to this - such measures may be applied against any country in a conflict with America. So China, like Russia, is interested in weakening the American monopoly in global economic affairs.

Fifth, we have the new stimuli to development. China, like any expert-orientated country, is constantly seeking new markets. Russia, until recently, has been reluctant to accept massive Chinese investment for fear of worsening the economic imbalance between the countries. Political rapprochement promotes such con-tacts.as was seen during Vladimir Putin's visit. The Russian-Chinese partnership is not going to be a cakewalk. These two giant neighbours with rich imperial traditions are doomed to eventual friction and development of divergent interests. But this is natural. The key point is not the absence of conflicts but the ability to resolve them Russia must to learn to compensate for its relative economic weakness with political skills and experience. In this area, Moscow is far ahead of Beijing.



The current round phase of Russia’s pivot to the East was conceived in the second half of the 2000s as a largely belated economic response to the rise of Asia, which opened up a plethora of opportunities for the development of the country and primarily its eastern regions. This rise offered a chance to turn the territory beyond the Urals and the Russian Far East from predominantly an imperial burden or rear in the confrontation with the West, and sometimes the forefront in the rivalry with Japan or China, into a springboard for the development of the whole country.


Oleg Barabanov, Timofey Bordachev, Fyodor Lukyanov, Andrey Sushentsov, Dmitry Suslov, Ivan Timofeev, Moscow, February 2017

18.02.2017 - Global riot and global order. Revolutionary situation in the world and what to do about it - report by Valdai discussion club

(Report in Russian, English version to be published shortly) Спустя много лет после студенческих волнений, которые охватили практически весь мир в 1968 году, активист тогдашнего движения Даниэль Кон-Бендит так вспоминал суть происходившего: «Это было восстание поколения, родившегося после Второй мировой войны, против общества, которое военное поколение построило после 1945 года». Бунт проявлялся по-разному– в зависимости от места действия. В Варшаве и Праге люди протестовали против коммунистического режима, в Париже и Франкфурте клеймил и буржуазно-консервативное засилье, в Сан-Франциско и Нью-Йорке возмущались милитаризмом и неравноправием, а в Исламабаде и Стамбуле отвергали власть военных. Всех объединяло нежелание житьпо-старому.«Мы были первым медиапоколением. СМИ играли большую роль, потому что они передавали искру жгучего неприятия, и она воспламеняла одну страну за другой», – вспоминал Кон-Бендит.

03.02.2017 - Sergei Karaganov, Dean of the School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Honorary Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, "A view from Moscow"

The victory of Donald Trump reinforced international tendencies, which had been obvious for Russians and which had been guiding Russian behavior for last few years. Among them – deglobalization led by forces, which previously created it, but started to retreat from it, when they saw that it benefits others equally or more. The change in correlation of forces against the old world and towards Asia will continue, though at somewhat slower pace than in previous decades. China will continue to become in the very foreseeable future an equal to the U.S. in cumulative power. Europe of the EU will continue to muddle down. (Hopefully, not towards a collapse, but something leaner, more stable and healthier like a Common market, Schengen minus, two Eurozones or a Eurozone minus). The rivalry between the U.S. and China will continue to exacerbate. The confrontation between Russia and the West will continue, but will gradually dampen.

20.08.2015 - The Interview: Henry Kissinger

The National Interest’s editor, Jacob Heilbrunn, spoke with Henry Kissinger in early July in New York.

10.08.2015 - "Shame on UK for Sham Litvinenko Trial", by William Dunkerley for "Eurasia review"

What started off as a massive fabrication in 2006 just received a great boost from a complicit British government. The mysterious polonium death of reputed former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko is the focus. An inexplicably long series of official UK hearings on this nearly 9 year old case has just concluded. That’s prompted a new flurry of sensational media reports.

02.06.2015 - Eurasian Way Out of the European Crisis (Article by Sergei Karaganov, to be published in late June in "Russian in Global Affairs")

I have already written before that having emerged victorious from the Cold War, Europe lost the post-war peace. The continent is on the verge of strategic degradation that may either become a caricature of military-political division into opposing blocs or a time of disquieting uncertainty. The military-political conflict over Ukraine can escalate as well.

13.03.2015 - NEW RULES OR NO RULES? XI Annual Valdai Discussion Club Meeting Participants' Report

In Search of an Order For those who believe in the magic of numbers, the year 2014 was further proof in its existence. The World War I centenary had been anticipated in awe and History, by taking another dramatic twist, confirmed the worst of expectations. It pronounced that centuries-old conflicts are still with us and that such concepts as the balance of powers, borders, and sovereignty are still relevant even in the era of a global interdependence.

15.09.2014 - Western delusions triggered this conflict and Russians will not yield (by Professor Sergey Karaganov for FT)

The west is without direction and losing sight of moral convictions, writes Sergey Karaganov

29.05.2014 - HARDtalk: Professor Sergey Karaganov

Stephen Sackur asks one of President Putin's influential former advisors about the next stage of Russia's apparent neo-imperialist foreign policy after developments in Crimea.

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